Chronic inflammation has been associated with many diseases of aging, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Inflammasomes can drive chronic inflammation and they trigger the maturation of interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Here, Furman and colleagues find that older subjects can be divided into two groups: those with constitutive expression of IL-1β, nucleotide metabolism dysfunction, elevated oxidative stress, high rates of hypertension and arterial stiffness; and those without constitutive expression of IL-1β, who lack these characteristics. There was a link between chronic inflammation and chronic diseases that accompany aging. Caffeine and its metabolites appear to counter part of this age-related inflammatory signaling, providing a possible explanation for why coffee drinkers tend to live longer than abstainers.
Furman D, Chang J, Lartigue L, Bolen CR, Haddad F, Gaudilliere B, Ganio EA, Fragiadakis GK, Spitzer MH, Douchet I, Daburon S, Moreau JF, Nolan GP, Blanco P, Déchanet-Merville J, Dekker CL, Jojic V, Kuo CJ, Davis MM, Faustin B: Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states. Nature Medicine [Jan. 16, 2017; Epub ahead of print, doi: 10.1038/nm.4267].